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CHI-RAQ 2015

R CC
Available on Prime

Directed by the critically acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee, Chi-Raq is a modern day adaptation of the ancient Greek play "Lysistrata" by Aristophanes. After the murder of a child by a stray bullet, a group of women led by Lysistrata organize against the on-going violence in Chicago's Southside creating a movement that challenges the nature of race, sex and violence in America and around the world.

Starring:
Nick Cannon, Wesley Snipes
Runtime:
2 hours, 6 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Spike Lee
Starring Nick Cannon, Wesley Snipes
Supporting actors Teyonah Parris, Jennifer Hudson, Steve Harris, Harry Lennix, D.B. Sweeney, Angela Bassett, John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson
Studio Amazon Studios
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Paul Donovan TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 6, 2015
Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Nine Things About the Film "Chi-Raq"

1. This movie is rude, raw, raunchy, wrong... and right on the money. It's going to be too much for some people, but I personally think it may be the best movie of 2015.

2. It's a retelling of a 2500-year-old Greek play named "Lysistrata" by Aristophanes. Writer/producer/director Spike Lee updates the play and sets it in a gang-run neighborhood of Chicago. Nick Cannon plays Chiraq, who is both a local rapper and the head of the Spartan gang. Wesley Snipes plays Cyclops, the aging leader of their deadly rivals, the Trojan gang. Samuel L. Jackson plays the narrator Dolmedes (see what they did there?). After a small child is gunned down in the street and nobody wants to come forward to be a witness, the women in the neighborhood have reached their breaking point. They band together and vow not to have sex with any man until the gangs squash their beef for good.

3. The movie is a satire, an indictment, and a plea. It was written by Lee and film professor Kevin Willmot (who lives in Lawrence, KS). They must have dipped their pen in acid to write the script, because this film burns. Beneath the satirical humor, this movie is angry. Very very angry. And everybody is to blame.

4. Lee has been criticized for setting the movie in Chicago (and using the controversial title) when he's not even from there. Some people think the movie makes fun of the gang and violence issues. I understand those criticisms, but I think they are misdirected. The movie starts tightly focused on the street murder of a child in Chicago, but then it spirals outward until it's a glorious mess that sweeps more and more topics into its whirlwind. Chicago is a symbol of a much bigger cluster of issues.
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I don't think I've seen a movie quite like this before. One so compelling in its message of peace, yet unabashedly weird and unorthodox in its presentation. CHI-RAQ is a modern-day retelling of the Ancient Greek play Lysistrata set in the south side of Chicago, which experiences gang violence on a regular basis. In order to stop it, Lysistrata organizes a sex strike that she hopes will bring an end to the carnage. I haven't seen too much by Spike Lee, so I don't really have any preconceived notions about him (except that maybe OLDBOY was an ill-advised remake). What really drew me to this was that it takes on a very real problem and does its best to initiate a dialogue. Gun violence is something that Americans usually shy away from discussing, and often miss the point when they do (I'll include myself too). Some of the most powerful moments in the film are often simply homilies directed at the audience. However, the nature of the film is a double-edged sword. Tonally, it ping-pongs between borderline comedy to extremely serious, emotional scenes. It doesn't always work, and to be honest, the film tries to do a little too much. Not content with the epidemic of gun violence in Chicago, it manages to work in the Black Lives Matter movement, police brutality, prisons, and economic disenfranchisement of the Black community. It's a lot to take in, but the nuggets are there. From a technical perspective, the film is surely well-made and the actors all do a great job delivering the rhyming dialogue. There's not too much in the way of character development, but I can give that a pass because of the source material. What makes it not as good as it could have been is, again, a lack of focus and imbalance, but also that it comes cloaked in religious nonsense.Read more ›
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Look we all know that Spike is eclectic, eccentric, unconventional...but OMG...WHAT THE WHAT??? Don't get me wrong the message "stop the violence" was driven home but getting there....was a trip! Nick Cannon and his leading lady Teyonah Parris put it down! Their performances were outstanding! The supporting cast pretty good as well. I watched this movie with an open mind and despite all of the controversy I was keen to see it. I just really don't understand why Spike chose to use sex to drive home the point about gun violence. The artistry was murky to me. I was distracted with "what the hell am I looking at" to focus on his message. The only saving grace was JHud, because we all know of her real life pain. I'm down for Spike and will always support but this one...I'm SMH.
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I had head good things about this movie. My husband usually likes Spike Lee movies and I like some of them, so we really thought we would enjoy this. I thought this was about the violence and social issues in Chicago. It started out that way, showing disturbing stastics of the crime rates and how many lack men, woman and children are killed every year by senseless violence. But that was the end of the real issues. After that everything started rhyming, which probably was supposed to be poetic, but just came off as corny. In the end, all they talked about was sex and there was never any addressing the social issues. It was very disappointing.
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It's different from any movie you've seen about violence, guns and people...African Americans living extremely below the poverty line. I watched it twiced. There are a lot of moving parts and I didn't want to miss anything. I am single white woman. Been single most of my life. Except for the 7 hellish years I was married. That was almost 30 years ago. I don't allow men to treat me without respect, lay a hand on me in violence. I am a proud strong woman and so are the women of chi-raq .I honestly don't know what more can be said or done to stop the violence. Especially the killings of little children from stray bullets. You know that more people have died in Chicago than have died in Afghanistan. And for what? Drug deal gone bad? Drive by shooting for a revenge. Look at what's happening to your town. You're playing right into cooperate America's hand. Put down your weapons - pick up a hammer or a paint brush and put your town back together. Prove them, all of them wrong. Prove you are a community and you shall overcome, you will heal together and you will begin to prosper
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